No one expected a crisis to impact the world as much as the COVID-19 pandemic. Before, deciding to go on a trip is easy. Now, one must weigh the perks of traveling and the consequences of leaving the house amid the crisis.
The crisis put a halt to all types of travel. Those who used to travel as a seasonal fling are now trying their best to shelter in place. They would rather postpone their travel plans for the sake of keeping themselves and their family safe during the pandemic.
Even businesses changed the way they operate to ensure the health and safety of their employees. They reduced the number of business trips and are now investing in virtual business meetings. The following shows just how much the crisis forever changed travel.
Obsession About Health
Health is the number one priority of all people during the pandemic. This made more consumers turn to their own private vehicles for comfort. They would rather drive in traffic and stay away from the crowd while traveling to reduce their exposure to other people.
More people are now sheltering in place. They postponed their much-awaited holidays in exchange for staying indoors. Their seasonal trips are either no more or are moved to a much later date.
Those who continue to pursue their travel plans are becoming increasingly obsessed with their health. They make it a point to learn about the safety protocols when traveling. They take extra precautions when traveling by keeping the following in mind.
- Practicing social distancing and better hygiene
- Investing in paperless booking
- Opting for self-checkout
- Choosing hotels and accommodations with strict COVID-19 protocols
- Reducing their pit stops
- Driving their own vehicles instead of public transport
- Choosing and reducing the number of people they travel with
Increased Importance of Private Transport
The COVID-19 crisis made people rethink the way they travel. Many no longer feel safe sharing a ride with other people through public transport. This led to more people buying their own private vehicles during the pandemic.
Consumers are not only investing in their own cars. Many also went on buying other forms of private vehicles, such as motorcycles, bicycles, and boats. This led more businesses like auto shops, motorcycle repair shops, and boating businesses into overdrive.
This is one reason ride-hailing companies made the decision to change their business model. Before, brands like Grab and Lyft were thriving. But then, the pandemic left these two rideshare companies struggling to retain drivers and rack up revenue.
Aside from regular cars and two-wheel vehicles, more people went on investing in recreational vehicles. Some also turned their automotive investment into their own home. More people are now living in their own cars either because they have no choice or because they made the conscious decision to be modern nomads.
Mandatory Travel Insurance
Before, one can travel the world without caring if they have travel insurance or not. Now, some countries are only accepting travelers who have their own travel insurance. This may seem unreasonable, but some countries are taking extra precautions for their local’s and tourists’ sake.
Take Thailand, Cambodia, and the United Arab Emirates, for instance. These countries now require all foreign travelers to have travel insurance before setting foot on their soil. This means investing in travel insurance is a must if you plan on visiting these countries.
Travel insurance gives you protection in case you have a medical emergency while traveling. This can also help you in case there is a need to cancel the trip. Now that we are living in the new normal, more countries are making travel insurance a requirement on top of having a negative PCR test and COVID-19 vaccination.
Boost in Demand for Non-traditional Lodging
The COVID-19 pandemic made travelers rethink their lodging. Big hotels used to be the go-to accommodation for people traveling for leisure and business. Nowadays, more people are booking private villas and boutique hotels when on a trip.
More consumers are investing in bigger space, convenience, and privacy. They are staying away from crowded lodging options with many shared facilities. The less interaction one can enjoy when traveling, the better it is for their health and peace of mind.
The pandemic undoubtedly caused significant changes in the way we travel. We can expect these changes to last for at least a few more years. Since health experts predict that the virus is here to stay, one can only wish that time would pass quickly so that we can go back to how we travel pre-pandemic.